Cabin steps question

We just bought a summer cabin in Utah. They had made some steps out of wood. These steps were set into the hillside, and were rough hewn. They have shifted, rotted, split, and are a mess.
I want to redo these, and some others in areas leading to patios and cook areas, etc.
The cabin is located at approximately 7,000 feet of elevation. It freezes there, and gets cold in the wintertime, but not reeeeeeeeeeally frozen for a long time.
If I were to use hewn wood for steps, which wood would be the best? Would railroad ties last a long time? Would it be best not to have them in contact with the ground, but spaced so there is an airspace under them?
For concrete steps, would that just be too much freeze/thaw cycles for them to last? A lot of concrete I see in the area has the corners cracked off.
Should I consider making them out of steel? (I am a welder.) I could use channel iron stringers, and then expanded metal steps, or poured concrete treads.
I want to do it once, and do it right.
When it is snowing or freezing, would the steel expanded metal be best for traction and letting the ice through?
Thanks. I live in Las Vegas, and this is my first foray into cold country.
Steve
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